I Accept Rep. Randy Forbes's Challenge for Someone to Debate Him
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 06:19:10 PM EST
During a July 1 radio appearance on The Jody Hice Show, Rep. Randy Forbes, promoting H. Res. 397, his resolution for a "spiritual heritage week," issued the following challenge:

"I challenge the president or anyone else -- come up, either debate me on this issue or simply tell me where that single moment in time was when you can say we crossed the threshold -- we ceased being a Judeo-Christian nation -- and you can't do it."

Well, as an "anyone else," I hereby accept Mr. Forbes's challenge. I want to publicly debate him on his resolution.

If Mr. Forbes is as confident in the historical accuracy of his resolution as he appears to be in his media appearances and recent "Judeo-Christian nation" floor speech (the YouTube video of which has gone "viral," now approaching 2.5 million hits), he should be eager to debate someone like me, right?

Mr. Forbes has incessantly touted his footnoting and documentation of all the claims found in the 75 "Whereas" clauses of his resolution, making numerous statements like the following one from his Jodi Hice Show appearance, so he should have no worries at all about defending those claims, right?

"This...is the most documented resolution, I think, that's been filed in Congress in years because we footnote every single thing that we've put in there, and you can read this resolution and it's like reading a history of faith in America. So, we hope to get that dialogue and that debate started again..."

Mr. Forbes, by his own words, has drawn a line in the sand:

"The spiritual heritage bill basically just draws a line in the sand and says wait a minute, we've got a rich history of faith in this country. We shouldn't be obscuring it. We shouldn't be running away from it. We should be talking about it."

Well, someone needs to cross that line in the sand, and it's going to be me.

So, Mr. Forbes, just name the time and place -- your turf, my turf (up here in NJ-6), DC, or anywhere else -- and let's debate your resolution clause by clause and see how well that very impressive looking list of footnotes you keep boasting about stands up to scrutiny.

I'll be sending a registered, return receipt letter to Mr. Forbes's office formally accepting his challenge to make sure he knows that I, as an "anyone else," have stepped up to accept it.

For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Forbes's "spiritual heritage" resolution, it's a re-introduction of H. Res. 888, the "religious heritage" resolution he introduced in the last congress. In a series of pieces last year, I debunked the dozens of instances of historical fiction in that resolution, and thanks to the efforts of a few organizations and a whole bunch of bloggers who joined in the fight, H. Res. 888 never made it to the floor. But, a few months ago, outraged over President Obama's statement in Turkey that America is not a Christian nation, Mr. Forbes reintroduced the same resolution as H. Res. 397. It currently has 74 co-sponsors.

I recently re-posted my debunking of H. Res. 888, as soon as I saw that Mr. Forbes had re-introduced it as H. Res. 397, so, if anyone wants more details about the resolution, or to see why I'm thrilled that he has issued a challenge for someone to debate him on it, you can find it here.




Display:
I hope he acknowledges your acceptance of his challenge and goes through with it.  I wouldn't hold my breath, of course.  His challenge is probably just bluster meant to impress his amen crowd.  But if you do get to debate, it will be comforting knowing the facts are on your side.  I'm guessing he will have to resort to preaching:  "Well, America ought to be a Christian nation! It just oughta be!"   And he will no doubt question your patriotism for denying the truth of Christian nationalist history during this time of war.

Looking forward to the results.  Thank you, and keep us updated.

by brother maynard on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 12:35:35 AM EST


I'll be watching... and pulling for you.

by deatons on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 01:07:40 AM EST


by stcrispian on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 08:37:03 PM EST
Parent


Rep. Forbes would be insane to actually debate Ms. Rodda on this stinking pile of lies and cherry-picked quotes. Unless he's so breath-takingly stupid that he believes every word in it, in which case he can go ahead and give his heart to Jesus, 'cause his ass will belong to Chris!

by trog69 on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 01:11:10 AM EST

Chris,

I hope that in addition to sending your letter to Representative Forbes that you put together a press release to DC and national media.

You are right these guys bluster things never expecting to be challenged on them but he needs to be backed into a corner and having the national media after him should make him put up or shut up.

by JerrySloan on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 03:48:40 AM EST

or college sweetens the pot by offering a platform for the debate.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 03:18:07 PM EST
Parent


" tell me where that single moment in time was when you can say we crossed the threshold -- we ceased being a Judeo-Christian nation", well it's sort of a toss up. Was it when the first evangelical opened their mouth to speak about anything to do with God, Christ and/or the Bible. That is the day scholarship declined and myth began. Was it the lightbulb that went off in someone's head that said "I can use this to manipulate people and get rich". Or the latest "trick" is to make "church" a rock and roll show, a sexual, sensual experience, a light show and pure entertainment. Now, this is difficult, because Christ was dealt a terrible blow when Rick Warren put pen to paper. So what do you think? Was it the first day an evangelical spoke, the moment it was first used to manipulate, the day it became Rick Warren's ego or the day it became entertainment. There is a church where I live that will be showing "Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona, next Sunday. Hmmm.. truly CEASED.... gotta go with Rick Warren, the greatest illusionist who ever lived... or maybe he was the beginning of the end and Vicki, Cristina, Barcelona will fully complete the circle. Zero. Good news, there are still plenty of Christians and intellectual pastors...

by stcrispian on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 08:34:28 PM EST

If a revisionist like Forbes can distort the truth by misappropriating quotations and fabricating them wholecloth, surely it will be a matter of no conscience to claim "nobody answered the challenge". Without an aggressive response such as was mounted last year, no one of real consequence (such as a member of Congress) would know he was lying about that too.

by Panglos on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 02:48:54 AM EST
But, issuing the challenge is a starting point.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 07:16:36 PM EST
Parent



WWW Talk To Action


Oath Oaf: Religious Right Columnist Calls For Religious Tests In Military
Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) is like a demented, right-wing geyser: You can count on him......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Deeper Background on Dominionism -- Revisisted
In the Fall of 2011, there was an extraordinary -- and extraordinarily scurrilous -- wave of criticism aimed at those of us who had......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal
Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we'll have less corruption. Biblical......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
A Visit To The Reality Community: Americans Have Sex. Americans Use Birth Control. Let's Move On.
Over the weekend, Americans United Senior Litigation Counsel Greg Lipper took part in a panel discussion about the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision at......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Thomas DiLorenzo's Rebel Yelling
I have written a great deal in the past few years about the odd phenomenon of Catholic Neo-Confederatism.  Let's add one more name to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Censorship Challenge: Texas Pastor Seeks Restrictions On `Dangerous' Library Books
Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America's public libraries. The idea was to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Suspended St. Louis County Officer Dan Page Made Rounds on Rightwing Radio Shows
St. Louis Police Officer Dan Page drew national attention when he shoved CNN's Don Lemon during a broadcast of the protests in Ferguson, and......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Cop Who Shoved CNN Host Don Lemon Lassoed in Another Conspiracy Rodeo
Rachel Tabachnick broke an important story this evening showing that the rant by Officer Dan Page that got him suspended from the St.Louis County......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Exile Excitement: Some Fundamentalists Seek Escape From Decadent Society
OK, now we've done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Controversy Over White Nationalist GOP Candidate Still White Hot
The 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president Michael Peroutka's current race for County Council in Maryland -- as a Republican -- it is still......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Race, Republicans and the Religious Right
The Republicans have a race problem, and by this I don't just mean that racial minorities don't much vote for them, particularly in the......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Rev. William Barber on Religious/Political Inclusiveness
A few weeks ago, I posted about the extraordinary oration of Rev. William Barber at Netroots Nation. (A transcript of the speech is now......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Short Takes
Salon.com  Columnist Thomas Frank considers how snark can cut more than one way. What does it mean when being "on the left" is defined......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
David Brat as a "Libertarian Catholic" is an Oxymoron
David Brat, the Tea Party Young Turk who recently shocked the GOP establishment with his primary win over Majority Leader Eric Cantor, is reportedly,......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Kountze Cheerleaders Take on the Courts
The entire town of Kountze, Texas is in a frenzy with business banners, suv window paintings and legal action supporting their local cheerleaders. The......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)

Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.